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Technology in the Classroom

These webpages cover some of the technology used in primary, secondary and post compulsory classrooms.

Welcome

Rebecca Wilson

The focus of this webpage is to help Student Teachers on our Initial Teacher Education programme with the use of technology to support and enrich the teaching and learning in their classroom. The resources and ideas may also be of use to other UCL students and staff.

Please get in touch with Rebecca Wilson if you would like to find out more.


Blogs and Wikis

Introduction

Encouraging your students to blog is a fantastic way of sharing and celebrating the learning that is going on in your classroom. Writing for a real audience is motivational and having others from around the world commenting really brings home how important the written word can be. Wikis are another great way to share information and of course collaborate with others. Here is an example of a Wiki used with our students at the IOE to share their resources and ideas for educational visits:


Blogs and Wikis: The basics

Blogs

Web logs or 'Blogs' can be used by teachers or students to easily share ideas, resources and information online.

A useful website to compare Blogging tools for primary.

An example of an educational  blog in action is Ewan Mc Intosh's

Here are some examples of websites that allow you to create your own free blog:

Wikis

Wiki a hawaiian word for fast or quick is a website that allows the quick and easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser. Wikis are often collaborative and are a great way for students to share their work and ideas with others.

Here is example of a website that allows you to create a free wiki and is focused on educational use:

Creative Presentations

Introduction

PowerPoint may often be our go-to presentation tool, but it doesn't have to be boring. Have a look at the video to improve your PowerPoint as well as the links to games and quizzes templates which can make PP a more interactive experience.


Creative Presentations: The Basics

This Pimp my PowerPoint video is about the basics of keeping people (and yes that includes children and young people) engaged. No more bulleted lists and reading off slides.

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IciChDu4mvo

 

PowerPoint is a great way to create activities, quizzes and games. Search for the latest PP templates. Here are some online templates and examples.

There are a range of software guides for Office including PowerPoint here.


Alternative Presentation Tools

Here are some other Web 2.0 presentation alternatives to PP which are FREE.

  • Prezi A zooming online presentation tool which is very visual and can be edited by others online as well as downloaded. 
  • Slideshare An easy way to share existing PP presentations online and find other relevant presentations. Also very easy to add a narration in MP3 format. 
  • Voicethread A collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments.
  • 50 ways to tell a story This is a great website analysing the different ways of presenting the same information with a range of online presentation tools including my favourites above and many more.
Digital Professional Development

Introduction

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As we know teachers are busy people and the trend now for Professional Development is short informal gatherings of teachers to share ideas and resources. There are also lots of opportunities for online communication and collaboration.


Digital Professional development: The basics

TeachMeets
An organised but informal meeting for teachers to share good practice and ideas in teaching with technology. They are usually organised by teachers for teachers and are all over the UK. Look out for one near you on their website.

Twitter
Joining Twitter is a great way to find like-minded teachers and share good ideas.

There are also Twitter 'meetings'  for example using the hashtag  #ukedchat every Thursday between 8-9pm for educators to chat about ideas, events and resources.

BETT

BETT is a free exhibition of the latest Technology for Education. It includes seminars and workshops run by teachers and educationalists as well as stands  by Apple, Google and Microsoft etc.

JISC
Provide relevant and useful advice, digital content and services, as well as research and develops new technologies and ways of working in education and research.


Inspiring Voices

Here are a few links to inspirational educators and organisations who are passionate about Technology innovations.

Stephen Heppell firmly believes change is happening and education has a central role to play.

Ken Robinson is another passionate educationalist. Check out his now famous speech about school and creativity. Futurlab is an independent organisation focused on creative approaches to education.

Digital Video

Introduction

In recent years with the development of really easy to use cameras and video capability on still cameras, phones and 'Ipads' video has become easier and easier to use in an educational setting.

It is a great opportunity for students to work together and involves lots of skills, including scripting, planning, filming and editing.


Digital Video: The Basics

Future Shorts

The concept of making short films has been around a long time but has had a revival with innovative short film labels such as Future Shorts.

British Film Institute 

The BFI does great work with young people and has lots of useful educational resources on their website. These educational resources are particularly useful.

Examples

Here is a link to some of the films made by young people in India as part of project supported by UCL.

E-Safety Resources

Introduction

E-safety is a complex and often contentious issue in the Education Sector. Just as we teach our students about other issues helping them to use technology safely and responsibly is an ongoing responsibility.


E-Safety: The Basics

All schools and colleges should have their own E-safety policy. E-safety has become more important as the use of technology and the Internet in schools and colleges has increased. An exert from the Ofsted briefing below helps to clarify the issues.

'In the context of an inspection, e-safety may be described as the school’s ability:

  • to protect and educate pupils and staff in their use of technology 
  • to have the appropriate mechanisms to intervene and support any incident where appropriate.

The breadth of issues classified within e-safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:

  • content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
  • contact: being subjected to harmful on-line interaction with other users
  • conduct: personal on-line behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm.'

From OFSTED Inspecting e-safety in schools Briefing for section 5 inspection Published: January 2014.


E-Safety Resources

BBC

The BBC has some excellent resources for children including videos and quizzes to help them stay safe.  Childnet International, a non-profit organisation working with others to help make the Internet a great and safe place for children.

Childnet

Childnet also run a film making competition for young people. See the winners on this page.

Think U Know

This website form the Nation Crime Agency has lots of information as well as teaching resources related to E-Safety.


Your Digital Profile

For NQTs and Trainee Teachers entering the profession, technology is a vital part of your professional and personal lives. Managing your digital  profile is important.

Young people you teach may well search for you on 'Facebook'. Checking your privacy settings and online content are important before you go into the classroom.

The following checklist has been designed to help you face these challenges whether at school or at home, in the classroom, or in the wider school community.

Interactive Whiteboards

Introduction

Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) are now being used in many schools and colleges to enhance teaching and learning.

An IWB consists of:

  • A computer
  • A digital projector
  • A touch sensitive board (either to a pen or finger)

Interactive Whiteboards: The Basics

At the Institute of Education we have mainly SMART IWBs but we have one Promethean IWB in of the PC lab 3 in the Library. Currently these are the main brand leaders and the ones most likely to be in school:

However there are other types of IWB including 'Starboards' and 'RMBoards'.

Software for IWB

Any software can of course be used on an IWB but to maximize the full interactivity of the IWB it is really worth exploring the 'Flipchart' Software that comes with the boards.

  • 'ActivInspire' the latest version of the flipchart software from Promethean IWBs (you may also see 'ActivStudio' or 'ActivPrimary') in classrooms.
  • 'SMART Notebook' the flipchart software for the SMART IWB.

There are also a range of advanced guides and downloadable flipcharts on the SMART and Promethean websites. Check out 'Resources' and 'Professional development' web pages on both websites.

Mobile Technology in the Classroom

Introduction

Lots of schools are investing in mobile technology to support teaching and learning. This might include laptop trolleys or sets of iPads or Chrome books.

Johnathan Wylie has written an interesting article to set the scene for mobile technology use in school.


Mobile Technology in the Classroom: The Basics

This website is a useful starting point with lots of information and good ideas about using Technology with a focus on Mobile Technology.

For a selection of iPad apps for education have a look here:


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Podcasting

Introduction

The idea of broadcasting your audio files on the internet or 'Podcasting' is very popular in schools at the moment.


Podcasting: The basics

Here is a typical educational website with some good ideas and examples of Podcasts.


Audacity

With Audacity software  you can record and edit sounds and import and export WAV, and MP3 files. You can easily edit your sounds using cut, copy, and paste features, mix tracks, or apply effects to your recordings. Here is the link to the free download of the Audacity software.

There are many royalty free music websites here are some below to explore.


Other useful websites

Sound Cloud is an online audio distribution platform that allows users to upload, record, promote and share their originally-created sounds.

The Audioboo website allows you to easily record and upload short sound files free.

The Podomatic website also allows you to record and create sound files free as well upload any MP3 files you have created.

Useful Digital Teaching Resources

Introduction

There are now many websites with very useful educational materials. You may want to search using key words/phrases for example 'KS2' or 'KS3' so you can focus on UK resources. Your school will have lots of websites they use on a regular basis. If you find anything really useful do let me know as resources are continuously being updated.


Here are a few to get you started.

BBC

This is a useful starting point as there is a list of useful sites and links for each subject. A short description is given so you have a flavour of what might be available.

London Grid for Learning

This is a Consortium of all London LAs working together to put in place high quality online resources and services for schools. Some areas need a username and password but many London schools will have automatic access.

Classtools

This site has lots of practical resources and good ideas to use in the classroom.

Primary Resources

This site has lesson plans, activity ideas and resources for primary teachers.

Interesting Teaching Ideas

This is a collaborative website with lots of great idea.

Teaching Ideas

This site has teaching ideas for primary teachers.

Web Tools

Introduction

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Web tools are built around the concept of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is the term given to

describe a second generation of the World Wide Web that is focused on creating, collaboration and sharing information online. It is an umbrella term for recent applications such as social networking, social bookmarking, blogs, wikis, multiplayer online gaming etc.


Web Tools: The basic

There are so many web tools that maybe useful for teaching that it would be hard to include them all. Below are a few of my favourite Web Tools:

Wordle

I love 'Wordle' a great way to make 'Word Clouds' (see above) which you can then use in your presentations or web pages.

Padlet

An online wall that allows collaborative post-it note activities.

Bubblus

This site allows you to easily brainstorm and mindmap online.


Beyond the Basics

If you are looking for new WEB 2.0 tools or evaluating any technology for the classroom these two websites by Richard Byrne are a great starting point.


Social Media

There are lots more useful web tools explored in the 'Social media for Researchers' guide below.  Do have a look at this excellent guide to find out more.